GENEVA – Geneva Commons marked the official reopening of its newly renovated central courtyard area with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 22 followed by activities and entertainment, the shopping center announced in a news release.
The new gathering area has undergone a significant transformation, which is the largest renovation in Geneva Commons’ history.
The months-long redesign project was intended to create a park-like space to serve as the focal point of the property.
Visitors to the outdoor shopping center can gather and take in the new features, including comfortable seating, pergola, fireplace, life-size chessboard and a grassy expanse of artificial turf.
A variety of special events will be hosted in the new area throughout the year, including movie nights, fitness seminars, ice skating and concerts, the release stated.
On June 22, the shopping center hosted corn hole tossing and other lawn games, prizes, face painting, balloon art, picnic fare, a DJ and costumed characters.
Morgan Arbir of South Elgin entered and won a grand prize of a $1,000 Geneva Commons shopping spree.
“Every day we receive inquiries from shoppers about summer activities. It’s a great feeling to see how the center has become a hub for the community,” Cathy Charhut, Geneva Commons property manager stated in the release. “And this is just the beginning; the enhanced gathering area will allow us to do much more.”
“We are excited to kick off the summer by delivering this dynamic, newly redesigned gathering area to the Geneva community,” Nick Koshiw stated in the release.
Koshiw is vice president of LaSalle Investment Management, the owner of Geneva Commons.
“This investment reflects our commitment to ensure the property remains as the dominant lifestyle center in the region, and a great place for merchants to thrive for years to come,” Koshiw stated in the release.
The new gathering area was designed by the architectural firm of Kimley Horn. Mid-America Asset Management, Inc. handled the construction project, with Builtech acting as the general contractor
In April 2017, Geneva aldermen approved the upgrades as amendments to the Geneva Commons’ 2002 planned unit development, records show.
The upgrades included changes to the Geneva Commons’ bell tower to allow for electronic signage, as well as improvements to the plaza to make it more pedestrian friendly.
The plaza area was to include an area for public art displays, a chess board and seating on a stone wall. Existing stone walls remain, but have new benches and colored concrete paving, records show.
The plan also called for planter pots, pergolas with sofa, chair and ottoman seating, and one with chase seating. Other areas will have adirondack chairs, tables and chairs, a shade umbrella and a fire feature, records show.
The changes meet all state accessibility standards, officials said.